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Johnson and Johnson considers $3 billion settlement for defective metal hip implant

Johnson & Johnson is considering shelling out more than $3 billion to settle lawsuits related to a faulty all-metal hip replacement system. The payout is about 50 percent higher than the company proposed in previous discussions, and would resolve as many as 11,500 lawsuits in the United States, at more than $300,000 per case. If accepted, the settlement would be the largest involving artificial hips. The lawsuits allege that the metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement system, made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, was defectively designed, which caused the devices to fail at a higher than expected rate. Thousands of patients ... Read More

Judge denies metal hip maker’s request to dismiss lawsuit in multidistrict litigation

A lawsuit in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) will move forward against Biomet Inc. over its allegedly defective metal-on-metal hip implant after an Indiana federal judge declined the company’s request for dismissal. Biomet argued that the claim against the company was preempted by federal law because the device was approved for use as part of a clinical investigation to determine safety and efficacy. The lawsuit was filed by Leslie Caccia who claimed he received a defective M2A-Magnum hip replacement system, made by Biomet. The complaint states the device damaged bone and tissue surrounding Caccia’s implant and he required multiple revision surgeries ... Read More

Testimony: Johnson and Johnson ignored warnings that DePuy hip implant was defective

A doctor working as a consultant for Johnson & Johnson warned company executives in 2008 that the ASR hip replacement system made by J&J subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics was poorly designed and suggested the company slow its marketing of the device until it discovered why the hip implant was hurting so many patients. The warning fell on deaf ears. It wasn’t until two years later, after several other doctor-consultants for the company pressed the issue with J&J that the consumer health care products giant issued a recall of the ASR artificial hip. In that time, literally thousands of patients worldwide underwent ... Read More

DePuy engineers knew of problems with metal hip implant but decided not to warn surgeons

An engineer with medical device maker DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, warned executives in 2008 that its ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system is susceptible to releasing extreme metal ions into the bloodstream of patients who had the devices implanted in their bodies, and said that the company needed “to discuss this at the earliest possible opportunity as I believe it means that we need to start any ASR upgrade sooner than our previous plans had suggested.” The DePuy engineer who warned colleagues was Graham Isaac and, despite a memo documenting his concerns about the ASR, Isaac said ... Read More

Health Canada issues advice for doctors who see patients with metal artificial hips

Canada’s drug regulator is advising doctors on how to manage patients who have received metal-on-metal artificial hips, and alerting patients who have received the implants to be on the lookout for signs of failure. Health Canada’s announcement comes after much scrutiny over so-called metal-on-metal hip implants. Traditional hip replacements are made with ceramic or plastic parts, but newer ones have been designed with all metal parts in an attempted to stand up better over time. However, reports show the devices have been failing at a higher than expected rate after just five or less years. Hip implant failures usually involve ... Read More

Metal hip implants can cause problems years after removal

Defective metal-on-metal hip replacement systems can cause patients debilitating problems for years after the implants have been replaced, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons this week. Surgeons have learned over the past decade that newer versions of hip implants, made with a metal ball that fits into a metal socket, have been failing at a higher rate than traditional hip implants made of ceramic or plastic parts. Typically, most hip implants fracture, loosen, or dislocate over a decade or two due to wear and tear. But many of these metal implants, ... Read More